“E-commerce is the present and the future” is probably something you are going to hear me say over and over again. This is, of course, because Zimbabwe needs to move sales of goods and services online. It’s unlikely that we will totally go back to the way things were and equipping yourself with the right tools is the most important thing. The first tool in any e-commerce business is to have an easy to search and find a website or digital sales platform. These platforms (especially websites) are often difficult and resource-intensive to develop, but there is a start-up called Otarkie that is looking make that process easier.
So in a similar fashion to the recently launched Fresh Ideas (Fresh In A Box) e-commerce platform. Ortarkie is offering much the same. The major difference however is that Otarkie is a multichannel e-commerce enabler. This means that you can build a website through the service but you can still sell over Facebook and Instagram markets. The team at Otarkie will then manage and sync all the sales as well as give you cross channel inventory.
For the website design, Otarkie developed a drag and drop template-based layout to make it easy for anyone to design their store. There is also no need for developers or any knowledge of code, so in a sense, Otarkie is like Shopify.
The bare minimum for e-commerce these days is multi-currency payments and its good to see that Otarkie has both USD (VISA & Mastercard) and local currency (ZIPIT) payments available. The company has gone even further and partnered with Senditoo, the partnership allows merchants to collect their forex payments at the end of every business day.
No e-commerce builder is complete without a logistics partner and Otarkie has two. The startup has partnered with Yaita and Cheetah Express. Both fulfilment services are open to all merchants but if a merchant has a particular preference they can bring another company onboard. The new logistics partner will also receive the same access and tools as Otarkie’s partners.
How much is all of this going to cost?
Ortarkie’s services are available for US$180 a year but the team behind the startup say that there is a monthly payment option available. You can get started by creating a free account on Otarkie’s website. You will also get assistance with strategy and digital marketing once you are onboard. Lastly, Ortakie will, of course, be there to give merchants 24/7 technical support.
You can check out the site for yourself with the link here